Art+History to be Featured at NEASA Conference “The Arts and the Public”

We’re excited to announce that a session on Art+History will be included in the upcoming New England American Studies Association’s conference “The Arts and the Public.”  The conference will be in Boston on October 1-3, 2010.  The panel session will feature curator Meg Rotzel, educator Leah Nahmias and artist Jill Slosburg-Ackerman.  The complete conference program will be available on NEASA’s website on June 1.

From the text of the proposal:

In 2009, public humanities graduate students in Brown University’s Department of American Civilization commissioned an exhibition of site-specific artworks inspired by the historic Nightingale-Brown House.  The exhibition and related programs inspired conversation about how historical narrative is crafted while presenting a distinctive model for engaging audiences in historical sites and museums through contemporary artwork.  In addition to an art exhibition, Art+History was also a laboratory for re-thinking historical house interpretation through contemporary art, suggesting a way that historic sites and arts organizations can incorporate new voices and audiences in the creation of narratives about shared pasts.  This presentation brings together a curator, an educator and an artist to discuss the exhibit and its themes.

Meg Rotzel, curator, will discuss the process of conceiving and organizing the exhibit; the process for inviting participation from artists, students, and the general public; and the challenges of mounting contemporary work in a historical space.

Leah Nahmias, educator, will present her paper “How History is Random, How Interpretation is Arranged: Crafting an Educational Program for Art+History,” which addresses the goals of the curriculum Place Explorations, framing it in the context of traditional art and history museum education practices.  The paper addresses the possibilities (and need) for an interdisciplinary art museum education model presented in Art+History.

Jill Slosburg-Ackerman, artist, will discuss her practice as it relates to the artwork Import/Export and how the combination of places and things extend or alter meaning.  As Slosburg-Ackerman notes, one of her goals was to “extend the venues for encountering sculpture by placing hybrid works of art…in locations that are outside of conventional art spaces with the purpose of collapsing conventional boundaries between works of art and the mundane.”


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